Photographer of the Month: Josh Garrick

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

 

One of the hardest things to photograph well is a well-known cultural icon. Whether it is a repeat of photos and angles we've all seen of the Great Wall of China or the Eiffel Tower, it is rare to come across a photographer that can breathe new life into a beloved subject. One such photographer, our Photographer of the Month for May, is Josh Garrick. One look at his simultaneously classic and fresh photos of the Parthenon, and you will concur.

 

Josh Garrick - Greece - travel photos

 

 

Josh Garrick - Greece - travel photos

 

 

Josh Garrick is a writer, photographer, fine art curator, and spokesperson for the arts.  He is a media representative and curator for Millenia Fine Art Gallery, a member of the Curatorial Council for the Museum of Florida Art, the arts columnist for Orlando Home & Leisure Magazine, and the culture columnist for the Winter Park Observer newspaper.

 

In January 2009, Josh judged the Annual Arts Festival for the Atlantic Center for the Arts.  Then, in February 2009, he curated the “Motorcycle as Art Exhibit” for the Museum of Florida Art.  In March, Josh curated “Harold Garde; Bring Me No Pre-conceptions” for Millenia Fine Art.  On May 1, 2009, Josh will open “Bryce Hammond:  ALL New Work” for the same Gallery. 

 

 

Josh Garrick - Greece - travel photos 

 

Josh Garrick - Greece - travel photos 

 

With a Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia University, Josh began his career as an assistant to Sir Rudolf Bing at the Metropolitan Opera. Josh has held positions including Concert Manager of Brooklyn Center for the Arts, Executive Director of the Boston Ballet; and professor and media spokesperson for the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

Josh has served on funding panels including the National Endowment for the Arts, Florida Council for the Arts, Massachusetts Council on the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. In addition, he has testified before Congress on behalf of the arts for the Congressional Subcommittee on Human Services Select Committee on Aging.

As a professor of ancient Greek art and culture at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, Josh has led American students on 15 trips to Greece.   In recognition of Josh’s teachings, he was afforded the unique opportunity, by the Greek Ephorate of Antiquities, to enter the Parthenon and photograph this architectural classic from the scaffolding and roof of the Parthenon during its current restoration. 

 

 

Josh Garrick - Greece - travel photos

 

Josh Garrick - Greece - travel photos

 

 

Josh’s photography has been featured in Where Magazine, U&lc, the New York Post, Popular Photography, BOCA Magazine, Photography New York, How Magazine, the Star Ledger, Photo District News, Central Florida Lifestyles, Photo Design, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the cover of Gallery Guide NYC, numerous Greek publications, and in Olympic Airways publications.

Josh has exhibited his photography in New York City in one-man shows at the Helio Gallery and the Bibro Gallery in SoHo and in Central Florida at Comma Gallery (where he won the ‘Harmon Photo People’s Choice Award’), at the Grand Bohemian Gallery, Hedgecross Gallery, The Gallery at Avalon Island, and the Pound Gallery.

 

 

 

 

Josh Garrick - Greece - travel photos

 

Josh Garrick - Greece - travel photos

 

An inveterate collector of – and spokesman for – contemporary art, Josh has resided in Orlando, Florida for 13 years.

Josh is also our Florida Arts Editor, for Wandering Educators. We were lucky enough to sit down and talk with Josh, about art, photography, Greece, and more. Here's what he had to say...

 

 

WE:  How long have you been a photographer?

JG:  Years ago I started out in photo-journalism and had the opportunity to teach at the School of Visual Arts in New York City (1985 to 1996).  As a working instructor there, we were invited to “sit-in” on classes by some of the greatest working artists of the time, and I was like a sponge.  That extraordinary opportunity allowed me to learn much more than I had in my formal education. (Garrick has an MFA from Columbia University.)

At that time SVA sought out the photo-artists who were “making waves” and making headlines – people like Mapplethorpe, Andres Serrano, and Joel-Peter Witkin.  It was amazing.  My eyes were opened in ways I had never imagined, and before long, I saw my work moving in the direction of fine art photography.  I cannot say how lucky I feel to have had such an ‘education’ … while I was teaching! 

 

Josh Garrick - Greece - travel photos 

 

Josh Garrick - Greece - travel photos

 

 

 

WE: How did you get interested in photography?

JG:  In graduate school, my specialty was “Ancient Greek Art and Culture.”  One cannot study that subject without visiting that beautiful country, so I would say that my travels led to writing, and the writing led to teaching and photography.  Almost from the beginning, I found my work being used for Greek newspapers and magazines as well as in brochures for Olympic (Greek) Airways.  Back in the States, I was able to place articles as a ‘travel writer’ only to find editors asking for photos to illustrate the articles.

I quickly realized the logic of combining the two – writing and photography.  I love writing and I love taking pictures – it all worked.  I would go out on a limb and say there are no sunsets in the world more beautiful than in Greece.  Now imagine a beautiful sunset with the ruins of an ancient Greek temple in silhouette – that’s a picture.

 

Josh Garrick - Greece - travel photos 

 

Josh Garrick - Greece - travel photos

 

 

WE:  What is your favorite place to photograph? 

JG:  As stated – the country of Greece.  As a teacher, I would tell my students that the real job of a photographer is to help others to see in a new way.  The intense light – the SUNLIGHT in Greece – allows for an intensity of both color and black and white shading unlike any other fine art photography I’ve seen anywhere else in the world.

 

 

WE:  What is your favorite subject?

JG:  At the School of Visual Arts, I was able to begin a summer-course in Ancient Greek Culture in which I took American students on “vacation-learning” trips to Greece.  The Greeks were quick to ‘embrace’ this crazy American who loves their country so completely (and knows so much about its history). With all humility, my work is only as good as it is, because I LOVE the country so much.

This got noticed in Greece, and I was allowed – by the Greek Ephorate of Antiquities – to actually climb up on the scaffolding of the Parthenon during its current restoration and photograph this architectural classic from the scaffolding and roof of the Parthenon.  There are truly no words to describe how grateful I am to have had that unbelievable opportunity.  Photos from that shoot eventually showed up in 7 American magazines including Archaeology Magazine and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

 

Josh Garrick - Greece - travel photos 

 

 

Josh Garrick - Greece - travel photos

 

 

WE: How difficult is it to take film on travels?  Does one need to be all digital?

JG:  I’m old fashioned and still believe in film. Even today, I believe in taking a photograph that is “of the moment.”  But I’m also practical enough to realize that I need to go digital as well.  The best part of that for me is to be able to upload any digital work – pretty much from anywhere these days – which alleviates the concerns about losing film or having it damaged in transit.  I’ve been lucky with film, and I hope I’ll always be able to find places that will continue to produce it and print-houses who understand its intrinsic – and artistic – value. 

 

Josh Garrick - Greece - travel photos

 

 

WE: Are there rules in other countries people need to be aware of about who
or what you can or cannot shoot?

JG:  Good question – one that’s been asked by my students for years.  My immediate answer is to “always be a gentleman,” and realize that you are an ambassador to that country from the United States.  Believe it or not, there are still many places in the world in which the ‘locals’ have curious beliefs about having their picture taken.  Of course, you need to know what’s legal.  Common sense helps here.  You need to realize that taking a fascinating picture of a military camp – or the President’s Palace – will not be seen in the same way it would be here in the States.  Usually the worst that will happen is they take away your camera.  Being polite, you need to respect other people’s privacy, and that the idea of individual privacy changes from place to place.  Especially in museums – it’s best to begin by asking the rules and then following them.

 

 

Josh Garrick - Greece - travel photos 

 

 

 

WE:  How can photographers help change/impact the world, while they are traveling?

JG: That goes back to the idea of always being a gentleman.  We’ve had so many years in which our government has been seen as the “global bully” that each of us must accept some responsibility for changing the world-view of who we are.  We need to be seen as reasonable, respectful of others, and sincerely interested in their country and their culture.  It is through the friends I made in Greece – amazing friends who could see my very sincere love for their country – that has given me the extraordinary opportunities that have come my way.

 

 

 

 

WE: Any tips you want to share? 

JG:  Only photograph what you love.  A series of ‘snapshots’ with your head in front of a bunch of monuments is the antithesis of photography.  If you don’t LOVE what you see through your view-finder, put the camera back in your back-pack and see with your own eyes.  That’s the first step. 
 

 

Josh Garrick - Greece - travel photos

 

 

 

WE: Thanks so much, Josh. Your art - and words - are an inspiration!

For more information, please see:
http://www.joshgarrick.com/

 

All photos courtesy and copyright of Josh Garrick. All rights reserved.

 

Comments (5)

  • Context Travel

    11 years 5 months ago

    Beautiful photos and great interview!  Happy anniversary and thank you for continuing to post valuable and informative articles.

  • Glinda

    11 years 5 months ago

    To be able to climb up on the scaffolding of the Parthenon must've been exhilarating! Thanks for sharing these fantastic photos!

  • monacake

    11 years 5 months ago

    his photos made me hold my breath - and that's my guage for wonderful photography. i'm also pleased to hear him talk about film vs. digital. i also believe that digital can never replace the depth and quality of film.

    excellent interview, jessie!

  • pen4hire

    11 years 5 months ago

    What an incredible experience. And so wonderful that you can share it in this unique set of photographs. I love Greece as much as you do, and know how thrilling it must have been to you to get this experience. And thanks to Wandering Eds for bringing it to us.

    Vera Marie Badertscher

    http://atravelerslibrary.com

  • Terri James

    11 years 5 months ago

    This is what travel photography is all about.

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